Going Global: ICSC ReCon Takeaways Retailers Should Consider

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What does it take for a retailer to be successful when expanding globally? At ICSC RECon today, Holly Cohen, Vice President of Global DTC Real Estate and Store Construction for Nike Inc., Karen Janes, Senior Vice President of Global Real Estate for Ralph Lauren, Michael Chu’di Ejekam, Chief Executive Officer of Atreos in Lagos, Nigeria and David Zoba, Chairman of JLL’s Global Leasing Board shared their insights.

Five key takeaways from the global expansion discussion:

1.    According to both Holly and Karen, taking a brand global requires a one-size-fits-one approach. Start with understanding why you are expanding. Do you want to open bricks and mortar stores? Do you want to build your dot com platform? Or are you using a dot com platform to help determine where to open bricks and mortar stores? Having laser focus on what success looks like is crucial. 

2.    Find out which retailers have successfully expanded in the region you are targeting and study what they’ve done. Take a look at those who have not been successful and understand why.

3.    Always remember the American way is not necessarily the right way. Rethink how you would typically enter a new market. Develop an intimate knowledge about cultural differences, how your customers shop and prefer to pay for goods and services. Take into account that just because a marketing campaign was successful in the U.S, it may not translate to a European, Asian or Middle Eastern audience.  

4.    In a recent report looking at 140 cities and 250 top retailers evaluating the most attractive markets for expansion, London, Hong Kong, Paris, Dubai and New York were presented as the top five destinations for Retail. London has the highest presence of international retailers, while cities in the Middle East, such as Dubai have seen the biggest influx of retailers.

5.     Africa is the world’s second-fastest growing economic region. By 2020, consumer spending in Africa is projected to reach $1.4 trillion.


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